Itís at times like this that
you have to stop, take stock and try to remember just what itís all about.
When experiencing the £15,000 Klimo Tafelrunde turntable [reviewed on p10],
Here we have a vast, sculptural apparition, the size of an
industrial-sized coffee table, with various exotic protrusions, all
elaborately surfaced. Itís visually arresting enough to divert all eyes in
the room to its delightful form. It presents itself, if I may borrow a phrase
from the BBC2 cultural commentators, as kinetic art. It moves apparently to
perform a function, yet surely its primary function is simply to be
its beautiful self?
Well okay, itís really just a fancy record player. But
using this exquisite bit of kit makes you reassess what hi-fi should be in the
first place. Itís very, errrm, Italian,
donít you know? By which I mean lavishly designed, seductively shaped and
utterly appealing to oneís Ďhi-fi heartstringsí. Yet there are some
annoying imperfections you wouldnít see on a £300 Rega. For example, the
cueing lever doesnít work right, so one is forced to hand cue (not a problem
for Noel and I as thatís what we prefer anyway). And some of that chromium
plating is really rather poor; one wonders if it will fade like an old Lancia
Beta in a Scottish winter?
Yet despite its obvious imperfections, the sound it serves
up is as show-stopping as the aura it radiates out into the room. If you were
to own one, itís the sort of thing your friends and family would remember
you by, when you were gone, like Uncle Rupert and his orange
Maserati Khamsin. People would talk about the time they came to your house to
see your Klimo, and how theyíd never heard anything like it before or after.
The Tafelrunde is, in every sense, a seminal hi-fi product. Showy, sassy, sexy
and faintly silly, owning one would surely become a vocation.
It is products such as these - glorious flaws and all - that
remind us that hi-fi is more than a functional, utilitarian pursuit; itís a
passion with great rewards awaiting the dedicated. And the good news is that,
should you not have fifteen grand under your mattress, there are some equally
special products - old and new - for a fraction of this. Hi-Fi
World is as ever, your faithful guide. Enjoy!
David Price, editor
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